Mercurio Family of Massachusetts

Updated March 22, 2007


Here's the result of my research into our family history. You'll find a great deal of information about the various ancestors going back to England and Scotland for the families of Samuel B. Lincoln and Harriet Howe Bates who were Mom's Great Great Grandparents. Since each of these two people are closely related to people we now consider famous their ancestry is extraorinarily well documented. Sadly I couldn't trace Dad's family back before the 1890s, and wasn't even able to find the first name of Mom's other Grandfather ? Bates. We can likely find more by looking at paper records in Weymouth, Hingham and other South Shore communities ... but what I've been able to find out using my computer from home is really pretty interesting.

I've checked the actual birth, marriage and census records that lead directly from Kelton Bates to John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley who came to America on the Mayflower. There's actually a multivolume bookset that traces the descendents of Howland and Tilley. More distant relatives are connected by an internet service called Ancestry.com which has a database several billion individuals and their relationships. I've not personally verified the information in this database since often it would require visiting locations all over England and France to look at the source records. But ... if its true its pretty interesting.
To get a feel for how it all works select Chaucer, Geoffery from this list and you'll see a direct chart going from Mom all the way to England in the 12 Century. Go back a few more generations beyond Chaucer on his wife's side of the family and you'll find yourself in 10th and 11th century France. There you'll find that Chaucer's wife was descended from a long line English and French Kings. One of these was is listed as Conqueror, William ...you'll see you're likely a direct descendent of William the Conqueror, the Norman King who came across the English Channel and took England away from the Anglo Saxons at the battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. Before you let any of this go to your head, remember that ... Linda can help you with the math ... William the Conqueror has likely more than a million direct descendents alive today. We just happen to be among those who can perhaps show the path back in time.

Getting closer to home and reality, select John Tilley and John Howland who along with their wives were direct direct ancestors who came over on the Mayflower.

In America from 1620 onward you'll very also see is lots of people who lived in Weymouth and Hingham and never left town. A few made it as far away as Nantucket. Looking at census records most were shoe makers or house painters along with a few farmers.

Other than the Mayflower group and the ... so distant to really be meaningless European Kings ... the most interesting relative I've found is Mom's grandfather Michael Griffin who was born in Ireland in 1847, came to America, served in the Civil War, was wounded at the Battle of Wilderness in Virginia and taken prisoner by Conferate forces. He was imprisoned at Andersonville, the most brutal place during the Civil War. He escaped, walked North and re-enlisted after the war, serving three years fighting in the Indian Wars.

What you'll soon see is that if we go back a couple thousand years we're all likely cousins with almost everyone we meet.

Paul Mercurio

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